Don't grumble, give a whistle

This week, the folks at the Weed try to get you to believe that "Portland is back" because a lot of young people are getting stoned and drunk and dancing. As usual, when you read the actual text of their story, it raises a lot of questions, but the way they present it clearly suggests that things are not as bad as the mainstream news media would lead you to believe.

Shared spaces and shared narratives are what make a city worth having. What is the point of living jammed together if not to run into old friends at the bar? Asking whether Portland is returning to such communal events is a way of diagnosing the city’s chances of survival.... MAX riders are not quite back on board.... Portland restaurants and bars are staffing up—but not like in the rest of Oregon.... Among similarly sized Western U.S. cities, that recovery is squarely in the middle of the pack.... Attendance at live shows is still skittish.... Portlanders seem more confident visiting outdoor attractions—like the zoo....

It's all such a classic mindscrew. When I finish reading the Weed, I feel like rolling over and lighting a cig.

Why are they like this? Well, look at where their advertising revenue comes from. Look at who they're trying to get to read the thing. If hell had a lot of juke joints, pot shops, and strip joints, they'd be doing photo features from there.

And you can't help but wonder whether their strained upbeat narrative isn't code for "It's not that bad, vote for Tina and Jo Ann."

Wherever you put Portland these days, it's a shadow of what it once was. And if you act like it's back to the old days, you are going to get hurt.


  1. EcoNW says a return to normal won't arrive till 2034. That suggests Portland has not bottomed out yet. The heck ya say? With the Hilton and Benson Hotels in foreclosure there's plenty that demonstrates the slide to the ditch is continuing. I reckon the Weed and other mindless defenders of Portland's status quo will never acknowledge the doom and despair of Portland governance.

  2. I don't actually read the WW anymore, just put it under the cat litter box.


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